Sand Hills Pocket Gopher has a very small range that is restricted to northern and western Nebraska and small portions of South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado 2, 3. [2], Plains pocket gophers are found throughout the Great Plains of North America, ranging from southern Manitoba (Canada), and eastern North Dakota south to New Mexico and Texas in the United States, and as far east as the extreme western parts of Indiana. Habitat 3. Pocket gophers generally live less than three years, which is typical for small rodents. stems) eaten by plains pocket gophers in western Nebraska. Plains pocket gophers reduced forage yield on rangeland in western Nebraska by 21 to 49 percent on different range sites, and reduced alfalfa yield in eastern Nebraska by 35 percent. Sources and Credits Plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius, Fig. Range and Habitat: The plains pocket gopher lives throughout Kansas with the exception of the southeastern corner of the state. They are eaten by animals that are able to follow them into burrows, such as weasels and snakes. They are most abundant in pine-oak woodlands, open pine flatwoods, and grassy fields. Their range extends from St. Clair and Madison counties to east and south of the Illinois River over to the Kankakee River and south of that river to the border of Indiana. As part of a continuing and more general study of the diversity of parasites from subterranean mammals in central North America, individuals of the Plains Pocket Gopher, Geomys bursarius bursarius, were collected from 7 localities in northwestern Minnesota from September 1991 through October 1996. The plains pocket gopher is usually restricted to sandy and silty soils from the Rocky Mountains east to the Mississippi River, and from Canada to southern Texas. Comments : Taxonomy: Order: Rodentia (rodents) Suborder: Myomorpha : Superfamily: Geomyoidea : Family: Geomyidae (pocket gophers) Subordinate Taxa: Determination of percentages of the soil surface that were bare, covered by litter, and occupied by plant bases showed that gopher-disturbed areas contained greater percentages of bare soil and litter than did undisturbed areas. They feed mostly on roots of trees, grasses, alfalfa, and dandelions. Description . Range 3. The hind However, Minnesota is at the eastern edge of the species' range, and the Northern Pocket Gopher has b… Factors affecting the size of the tunnel system appeared to be influenced more by the amount of energy needed to maintain and patrol it rather than the amount of vegetation present. Young pocket gophers are born in nest chambers underground. Several other species are found in the West and Southeast. They rarely explore burrows inhabited by other gophers, although they sometimes investigate those that have been previously abandoned. Females give birth to one to six young after a gestation period around 30 days. Plains Pocket Gophers have a height of 3.5”-5.1” (9-13 cm), body length between 8.2”-13.8” (21-35 cm), and an overall weight in the range of.26-.44 lb (120-200 g). They can be found as far north as the city of Brady, as far south as La Pryor, as far west as Ul­vade, and as east as Llano. In addition, mole tunnels leave raised ridges in the ground, whereas pocket gopher tunnels do not. Often this means pocket gophers make their homes in lawns and crop fields, much to the dismay of homeowners and farmers. Moles have small teeth and tiny, unapparent eyes. Pocket gophers are sometimes confused with their fossorial relatives, moles. While focusing on the differences between these two species, it is worthwhile to point out gophers are generally considered as pests to rangelands, agricultural fields and in suburban lawns and property. [citation needed], The young are born hairless and blind, and initially weigh about 5 g (0.18 oz). The plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) is one of 35 species of pocket gophers, so named in reference to their externally located, fur-lined cheek pouches. [8], A long-term controlled study of tunnel excavation by plains pocket gophers found that the rate of tunnel construction ranges from a high of 2,059 cm/week of new tunnels to a low of none over several weeks during the summer. Eight subspecies are currently recognised, although some former subspecies have since been considered to be species in their own right, and are no longer included:[3], Fossil remains have been found as far south as Tennessee, indicating a late Pleistocene, early Holocene population. Eight subspecies are currently recognised, although some former subspecies have since been considered to be species in their own right, and are no longer included: The desert pocket gopher is the most threatened species because it occupies a very small range and is thus more vulnerable to habitat loss. They are the only natural force that seems to be able to limit the growth of quaking aspen—they can chew the root systems back faster than they can grow back. Although they initially move around in their mother's burrow, after weaning, they quickly leave to establish burrows of their own, and reach the full adult size after about three months. Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world, Inspire a lifelong connection with wildlife and wild places through our children's publications, products, and activities, National Wildlife Federation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is only slightly more complicated to calculate the cost of control operations. Botta’s pocket gophers are found in most of the southern half of the western US (Figure 4a). Difference Northern Pocket Gopher Plains Pocket Gopher There are many similarities between the 13 species of gophers found in the U.S. Most pocket gopher species are relatively common and not of conservation concern. Territorial and aggressive, especially in male-to-male interaction, these rodents appear to use their greatly increased sensitivity to soil vibration to maintain their solitary lifestyle. Pocket gophers usually live in rangeland, alfalfa fields, roadsides, introduced pastures, railroad rights-of-way, and they often invade lawns and flowerbeds. [12] Known predators include rattlesnakes, prairie kingsnakes, gopher snakes, feral cats, coyotes, foxes, badgers, hawks, and owls. Pocket gophers, commonly referred to as just gophers, are burrowing rodents of the family Geomyidae. The name "Plains Pocket Gopher" is because of their cheek pouches on their cheeks. [1] Though pocket gophers are considered to be no more than pests by farmers and suburban lawn owners, they play active roles in soil aeration, flood control via improved drainage, and soil and plant diversity.[5][13]. The study area was located 35 kilometers (22 miles) south and 11. kilometers (7 miles) east of Chadron, Nebraska. The breeding season varies with latitude, ranging from April to May in Wisconsin to as long as January to September in Texas. Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Pocket gophers of the genus Geomys are fossorial rodents of the family Geomydidae that occur principally in tall-grass prairie in the northeastern portion of the great plains west of the Mississippi River (Honeycutt and 1 Botta’s (or val-ley) pocket gophers (Thomomys bottae, Plains pocket gophers (Geomys bursarius, Fig. This would support the hypothesis that drier environmental conditions with extensive prairies extended further south during the Late Wisconsinan glacial period, supporting populations of Geomys and other prairie species such as thirteen-lined ground squirrels and prairie chickens. estimate survival rates of plains pocket gophers. This gopher has 2 prominent teeth for chewing. Ge­o­graphic Range. They are used for carrying food up to 7 cm (2.8 in) in length and have a forward opening. [6], Other adaptations to a fossorial lifestyle include a low resting metabolic rate of 0.946 ml O2/g/h,[3] and high conductance, a tolerance for low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels, and a decreased water intake. 4a) are found in the central plains from Canada south through Texas and Louisiana. [3], The gophers share their tunnels with numerous species of insects, including flies, scarab[10] and carrion beetles,[11] and cave crickets. Pocket gophers face numerous threats from predators. The latter is about three and one-fourth inches long. They are commonly known for their extensive tunneling activities and their ability to destroy farms and gardens. Zygomatic arches are widely flared, providing ample room for muscle attachment,[5] although, unlike other pocket gophers, this species does not use the curved incisors to assist the feet in digging.